Celebrating my dog is pretty normal in my house. But I like to make it extra special on her birthday. And what’s the best way to wish someone happy birthday? With a party!
Let’s break down how to throw your dog a birthday party that everyone will love.
Set Your Budget and Timeline
Party planning is so fun! But let’s get some stuff out of the way first. You want to decide on a budget and a timeline before you start shopping and spreading the word.
When deciding on a budget, consider the cost of invitations, decorations, food and entertainment. Maybe you will even choose a venue that charges a fee. Be mindful of these expenses from the beginning to avoid overspending.
Homemade treats and DIY decorations can keep costs down. You can also select a party location that’s free and dog-friendly. Digital invites are yet another way to save some money. If you start early and stay organized, you can throw an unforgettable party on any budget!
Save the Date
When choosing a date, I like to go for a weekend when most people are available.
But maybe it’s important to you to celebrate on your dog’s actual birthday. If your dog’s special day lands on a weekday, then go for it! It’s your dog’s day, after all.
Try to pick a date with enough notice for your guests. People generally like to know about parties 4-6 weeks in advance. And you want as much time as possible to plan!
Pro tip: Include your party’s theme on the invites. This will give your guests plenty of time to find the perfect outfit/costume. If you are doing a pot-luck style party, be sure to note this on the invitation as well.
Location, Location, Location
Consider your pup’s personality. Where would he be the happiest to celebrate his special day? A dog park, backyard, or even dog-friendly venues like indoor parks or restaurants could be great options.
This is another time when it’s great to be mindful of your budget. Your backyard is free! A doggie spa, however, could be an incredible (but very costly) experience.
If your dog is like mine, then she loves the beach! Visiting a dog-friendly beach could be a wonderful location for water-loving dogs.
Choose a Theme
Now the fun part: Choosing a theme that unleashes your dog’s personality! Here are some fetching ideas:
- The Barkyard BBQ: Ideal for outdoor-loving dogs. Set up a dog-friendly buffet with burgers and hot dogs. Decorate with checkered tablecloths for a classic touch.
- Pup-arazzi Hollywood Party: For the glamorous pup! Roll out the red carpet, dress up, and serve fancy treats like caviar-inspired biscuits and “champagne.”
- Beach Bum Party: Bring the beach vibes with decorations like beach balls and surfboards. Water-based activities and tropical-themed treats complete the experience.
- Superheroes and Sidekicks: Celebrate your pup’s powers with a superhero-themed party. Encourage costumes, set up an obstacle course, and serve themed treats.
- Canine Carnival: Create a fair atmosphere with game booths and colorful decorations. Offer classic fair food and dog-friendly “corn dogs.”
- Decades Party: Take a step back in time with a themed party from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, or ’80s. Play era-appropriate music and serve treats inspired by the chosen decade.
- Puppy Prom: Give your dog the night of her life with a formal prom. Elegant attire, slow-dance areas, and gourmet treats make it a night to remember.
Start with a Color Scheme: Choose a scheme based on your theme for a cohesive look.
Balloons and Banners: Classic and festive – consider dog-themed phrases for that extra touch.
Table Settings: Even though dogs won’t be sitting at the table, decorate it for your human guests. Use matching colors, dog-themed dishes, and small dog toys as party favors.
DIY Doggy Decor: Get crafty with paw print garlands, dog bone wreaths, and customized doggy photo walls.
Activity Stations: Enhance the atmosphere with treat stations, a doggy play zone, and a photo booth. Make it a fun and engaging experience!
Create a Dog-Friendly Menu
The key to creating the perfect menu is designating a few dog-friendly dishes. You want everyone to be happy!
So, check out which foods to avoid and get creative! You can bake a dog-friendly cake, make dog treats, or even serve meat right off the grill.
For your human guests, ask about dietary requirements on your invitation. It’s always best to have 1 vegetarian option, 1 vegan option, and 1 gluten-free option just to be safe.
If you want to save some money, you could also do a pot-luck style menu. That way, you will have more variety and everyone should have one dish that they can eat.
Let the Games Begin
Games and activities are the best parts of a party! Here are some ideas you might try at your pup’s birthday party:
Engaging Activities for Dogs
- Obstacle Course
- Treasure Hunt
- Fetch Relay
- Trick Talentshow
Fun Activities for Humans
- Dog Breed Trivia
- Doggy Pictionary
- Doggy Bingo
Preventing and Handling Dog Fights
I recommend only inviting dogs you know. Hopefully you won’t have any problems with dog fights. But it’s best to be prepared, just in case.
Know the signs of aggression, keep dogs leashed if needed, intervene early, and stay calm. Do your best to feed all dogs at the same time. This can help prevent resource guarding (AKA food aggression).
With these safety tips, you’re set for a fantastic dog birthday party that everyone will remember! Happy celebrating!